Ancient Magic and Ritual Power by Marvin W. Meyer, Paul Allan Mirecki

By Marvin W. Meyer, Paul Allan Mirecki

This quantity features a sequence of provocative essays that discover expressions of magic and formality strength within the old international. The essays are authored by way of major students within the fields of Egyptology, historical close to japanese stories, the Hebrew Bible, Judaica, classical Greek and Roman reports, early Christianity and patristics, and Coptology. in the course of the publication the essays learn the phrases hired in descriptions of old magic. From this exam comes a rationalization of magic as a polemical time period of exclusion but additionally an realizing of the classical Egyptian and early Greek conceptions of magic as a extra impartial classification of inclusion. This ebook may still end up to be foundational for destiny scholarly stories of historic magic and formality energy. This booklet has additionally been released in hardback (no longer available).

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To serve this end, flattering persuasion and magical incantation are identified—in other contexts, Gorgias is perfectly able to differentiate the two. 20 This somewhat condensed analysis of Greek terminology of soreery—goes; agurtës; mageia·, goeteia; mageuein; goëteuein— yields interesting results: (1) What this lexical complex denotes is not identical to what we would call magic in our contemporary definition. The Greek terminology connects private mystery rituals with initiatory sacrifices as well as divination and sorcery; their common denominator is that they do not belong to civic religion.

Garland, Introducing New Gods (London: Duckworth, 1992), 145-50. 24 E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture. 113-17. 25 Helen: Homer, Od. 4,221; Circe: ibid. 10, 388ss. for sorcery and witchcraft. 26 Again, here we see substances whose effect goes beyond ordinary power—but here, we would categorize them not as magical but as medical or criminal. Another Homeric term is epa0idē/ep0idē, "incantation," a verbal utterance with supernatural effect. The only Homeric attestation values it positively: Ulysses' uncles use an epaoidê to stop the bleeding from his wound after he has been attacked by a boar.

J. Z. Smith, To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1987), 103-12 et passim. 25 The second part of this essay has been adopted from my paper, "Constructing a Small Place," delivered at the Joshua Prawer Memorial Conference, "Sacred Space: Shrine, City, Land," sponsored by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem, June 1992. 2 In our society, in religious, ethnographical or psychological studies as well as in daily life, magic tends to be taken as a human universal: all societies have their magical tradition, as they have their myths and their rituals.

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